About World Travel Watch
World Travel Watch originated in 1985 when we, Larry Habegger and James O’Reilly, were dissatisfied with coverage of world news in newspaper travel sections. It was a time when travel editors shied away from stories covering places perceived to be dangerous but also when aircraft hijackings were a common terrorist technique, and the need for balanced, accurate information about the world was more important than ever. We started writing our column to dispel myths where we found them, so entire countries wouldn’t get scratched off the travel map when security problems might be isolated to specific regions, and also to highlight those places that were truly dangerous and needed to be avoided. We felt that the State Department’s travel advisories were good to a point, but often too cautious and not specific enough. We wanted to go beyond those advisories and give readers deeper, broader, more useful information to make informed judgments about their travels.
Since 1985, World Travel Watch has appeared in some of the best newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. In that time, the column has appeared regularly in the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, Indianapolis Star, Hartford Courant, St. Petersburg Times, and other U.S. newspapers, and in newspapers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. World Travel Watch appeared with the original launching of the Travelers’ Center on the Global Network Navigator (GNN) at O’Reilly & Associates in 1993, and continuously on GNN while it was part of AOL.
Larry Habegger and James O’Reilly have been writing about adventure travel for magazines and newspapers both in the U.S. and abroad since 1980. They have visited six of the seven continents, traveling from the Arctic to equatorial rain forest, the Himalayas to the Dead Sea. They are the founding editors of the Travelers’ Tales book series and have worked on almost eighty titles, winning many awards for excellence. They are frequent radio guests, panelists, and speakers on the subjects of travel, travel writing, and travel security. They both live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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